As the COVID-19 pandemic wanes and sporting venues open-up to full capacity, a new disturbing trend has hit the headlines - poor fan behavior. Five NBA teams have issued indefinite bans on fans, who crossed the line of unacceptable behavior, during the NBA playoffs. Major League Baseball stadiums have a recurring problem with divisive political banners being strewn over walls, as part of an organized campaign, requiring fan ejections. There was a brawl between Clippers and Suns fans after Game...
Following a successful US launch, global aviation services group Air Partner launches Tour Protect in the UK, the first COVID-19 travel protection program for the touring music and entertainment sector. As ‘Freedom Day’ looms fast on the 19th of July, the music and entertainment industries are gearing up for everyone’s safe return to stadiums, arenas and clubs. Despite the exciting prospect of enjoying life free of restrictions, living with COVID-19 ensures safety will remain...
COVID restrictions across the UK are slowly easing and many public venues, including stadiums, are beginning to reopen following a year of closures and uncertainty. According to recent ONS figures, criminal offenses – excluding fraud and computer misuse – dropped significantly during the lockdown periods of 2020. In fact, 25% less crime was reported in April 2020 compared to the same month in 2019. However, as lockdown measures eased each time, crime levels quickly crept up, sadly e...
The topic of video analytics has been talked and written about for decades, and yet is still one of the cutting-edge themes in the physical security industry. Some say yesterday’s analytics systems tended to overpromise and underdeliver, and there are still some skeptics. However, newer technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) are reinvigorating the sector and enabling it to finally live up to its promise. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What new technologies a...
3DX-Ray have announced a contract for the sale of thirty ThreatScan- LS1 X-Ray scanner systems to an undisclosed law enforcement agency in southeast Asia. About ThreatScan-LS1 The ThreatScan-LS1 flat-screen scanner is a highly portable, flexible, and powerful tool that allows law enforcement officers to rapidly examine and assess threats in situ, such as travel bags, laptops, packages as well as vehicle tires, fuel tanks, and doors. They can be used in a conventional EOD role, examining...
Security and Safety Things GmbH has announced the launch of its second App Challenge to spur additional creative development in video analytic applications. Through April 26, 2021, participating developers have the opportunity to submit proposals for apps to address specific security, safety and business optimization use cases in the retail, transportation, stadiums and entertainment, and healthcare verticals. S&ST open camera OS and IoT platform The apps will be designed to run on smart...
Panasonic Security Solutions announced that it had become a Founder of the relaunched International Professional Security Association (IPSA). The association is dedicated to supporting those individuals and companies working in the fire and security sector, many of which are classified as key workers. Member job roles range from installation technicians of security systems and fire systems to vital security personnel. Free app and membership The Panasonic investment, as one of a number of Founders, has helped to fund a radical shake-up of the UK's longest established security association. New initiatives include free membership for all frontline security and technical workers and a new free app. The app will provide information and training modules, and a network of approved suppliers that support the industry The app will provide information and guidance, welfare, training modules, and a network of approved suppliers that support the industry. IPSA also plans to use the app to capture important data and trends about unreported incidents, mental well-being, injuries, diversity, and disability - all of which, for the first time, will allow for an accurate picture of incidents affecting front-line security officers, businesses, and the wider community. Driving security standards "IPSA plans to represent the security industry with "one voice" and the support of Founder organizations, such as Panasonic, enable us to deliver on this vision," said Simon Pears, Chairman of IPSA. "Each and every one of our Founders is showing their commitment and support in driving security standards and professionalism forward. Their support is invaluable as we showcase all aspects of the security solutions and career progression available." Safeguard security society Commenting on the investment, Panasonic Security Solutions Marketing Manager Rachael Crook, said, "Panasonic has a 60-plus-year proud history of supporting the security industry - providing reliable camera and software solutions and the valuable real-time information used by its professionals to safeguard society.” “With the relaunch of IPSA, its commitment to the industry, and the important role it plays in society, as well as the focus on technology solutions like the app, it made perfect sense for us to support the new-look organization."
Stadiums and arenas are entertainment venues that can hold thousands of people at one time. They most often host sporting competitions, but they are sometimes also the sites of other events, such as concerts. Gatherings of so many people make stadiums soft targets for violence and terrorism. Fortunately, Delta Scientific has a wide range of products that can help to enhance the security of arenas or stadiums. Safety and security standards Responsibility for security at a stadium is often shared between the organization holding the event and the owners of the stadium itself. The owner and the organization often cooperate with one another to assess risks, decide how to mitigate them, and communicate security requirements to the staff that will be responsible for enforcing them. For example, FIFA, which is the international soccer association, holds events around the world and works with officials in the host nation and organizers at the venue to put together a safety and security management team. Safety risks Many of the safety risks involve accidents resulting from crowding so many people into one place Many of the safety risks involve accidents resulting from crowding so many people into one place. There are unintentional injuries due to slip-and-fall accidents or trampling. Sometimes there are intentional assaults by fans that have been carried away by the emotion of the event or impaired by alcohol. Security risks Then there are the threats of terroristic attacks. Extremists of any ideology try to make as big an impact as possible, literally as well as figuratively. An attack that affects many people at the same time is likely to thrust them into the spotlight. Terrorist attacks often involve vehicles. Most vehicular attacks in recent years have involved driving directly into buildings or pedestrian areas. Another very real and frightening possibility is a vehicle that has been loaded down with explosives and driven as close to the stadium as possible, then detonated. Portable barriers Depending on the stadium’s schedule, one may find that they do not need the highest level of security on a daily basis. One may only need to enhance it when an event is going on. Portable barriers are easy to set up, tear down, and move around as needed. They are as effective at stopping vehicles as their more permanent counterparts. However, some portable barriers offer Soft Stop technology, protecting the building and pedestrians from vehicular attack but not demolishing the passenger compartment and harming the vehicle occupants in the process. Crash-rated gates Crash-rated gates can deny access to all but authorized vehicles There are some areas around a stadium that are closed off to patrons but need to be accessible to staff, delivery people, etc. These areas may represent a tempting entry point for a terroristic attack. Crash-rated gates can deny access to all but authorized vehicles. These come in different varieties, including swinging and rolling gates. Enhancing stadium security Unfortunately, many stadiums do not take the necessary steps to enhance safety and security until a tragedy occurs. In the case of a terrorist attack, this could mean the loss of hundreds, or even thousands, of lives. On the other hand, many stadiums are choosing to be proactive in preventing a large-scale tragedy from occurring in the first place. Venues that we have worked with recently include CitiField in New York, Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, and SOFI Stadium in Los Angeles.
Evolv Technology, a globally renowned provider of artificial intelligence (AI)-based touchless security screening systems, announced the appointment of digital transformation executive Merline Saintil to its Board of Directors. The 20-year technology industry veteran is widely respected for providing world-class innovators and market makers with strategic leadership, insightful guidance, and operational expertise to dominate the markets they serve. Saintil has a proven track record of developing global award-winning products at iconic Fortune 500 and privately held companies including Intuit, Yahoo!, PayPal, Adobe, Joyent, and Sun Microsystems. A recognized provider in data analytics, cloud computing, mobility, and e-commerce, she has directed and quickly scaled product development teams for business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, advised CEOs, and driven strategic mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. Payments management software Evolv Express is deployed around the globe and has been used to screen more than 50 million people She was also a key member of the leadership team that took one of the world’s largest payments management software companies, Change Healthcare, public in 2019. Evolv Technology is the world’s first and only commercially successful provider of AI-based touchless security screening systems. Evolv Express is deployed around the globe and has been used to screen more than 50 million people - second only to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the number of people safely screened. Women in technology fields “Merline is an outstanding addition to our board of directors, having served in leadership roles with some of the world’s most game-changing, innovative software companies,” said Evolv Technology Chief Executive Officer Peter George. “Given the positive impact she has had on high-growth SaaS companies, Merline brings an incredible wealth of knowledge that will undoubtedly help drive our future success.” Committed to advancing opportunities for women in technology fields, Saintil began her career as a software engineer. Active in the CXO community, a popular speaker at top conferences and sought-after for industry insights, she has earned accolades that include one of the 22 Most Powerful Women Engineers in the World by Business Insider, one of the Most Influential Corporate Directors by Women’s Inc. and a Woman of Influence by Silicon Valley Business Journal. Frictionless security experience Underscoring her role as a mentor, she has been honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Girls in Tech. Saintil also serves on the boards at unicorns GitLab and Lightspeed HQ as well as ShotSpotter, Alkami Technology and Banner Bank. “Evolv’s breakthrough platform fundamentally changes how organizations protect visitors and employees from a host of threats, and makes the experience more open and frictionless,” Saintil said. “It is rare that such a public good is harnessed to an enormous market opportunity and a strong team. I am excited to be part of the mission with the Evolv team.” Optimize security performance The company added several internationally respected industry veterans to its leadership team To keep pace with its rapid growth, Evolv Technology is expanding all areas of its business after doubling its growth in 2020. The company added several internationally respected industry veterans to its leadership team. Dana Loof joined as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) from Palo Alto Networks, Eric Pyenson as General Counsel from VMware’s Carbon Black Security Business Unit, and A.J. De Rosa as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) from Orbital Insight. With its systems in use at hundreds of outdoor entertainment venues, cultural landmarks, corporations, warehouses, schools, hospitals, stadiums, and large-scale events worldwide, Evolv Technology’s customers include Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, L.L. Bean, Wynn Las Vegas, Oakland International Airport, two South Carolina school districts, Hersheypark, Set Jet, the Biltmore Estate and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. By using Evolv Express, organizations optimize the performance of their security teams while reducing screening expenses by as much as 70 percent.
Following the release of FLIR United Video Management System 9.0 (United VMS) in August 2020, FLIR announced the global availability of United VMS 9.0.1 with new advanced features. The latest platform update offers further streamlined access to system status and alarms around the clock for security teams to react to threat activities faster while enjoying improved reporting and cybersecurity functionality. Included advancements The advancements include updates to the FLIR Latitude VMS Software as well as Horizon and FLIR Meridian Network Video Recorders (NVR), featuring: The ability to access video and alarms from anywhere at any time using EZ Client for mobile devices, the FLIR web-based, feature-rich application Streamlined control center operations with Quick View, the new optimized video scene tracking capability Access to system events for improved cybersecurity within the United VMS reporting tool, as well as the sign-off reporting and the capability to produce custom reports Additional bug fixes and other general software enhancements Enhancing the Health Monitor tool The United VMS 9.0.1 updates enhance the Health Monitor tool improvements that were launched with United VMS 9.0, which proactively monitors system health and alerts security personnel to issues before downtime occurs. This offers the ability to securely access video assets to receive event alerts anywhere and anytime, improves efficiency, and increases peace of mind. Supporting cameras and VMS Through an open platform solution, the system efficiently supports various visible cameras, thermal cameras, radars, and a combination of all three. Further, United VMS can accurately match any size installation while improving cost efficiencies through scalability and centralized management—no matter if the system supports a single location or multiple sites across the globe. The United VMS pricing structure provides extensive flexibility for deployment, including customizable software service agreements for simplified business continuity, further enabling critical facilities to make the most of this open platform solution while future-proofing its security system. Download for free Customers that previously purchased United VMS 9.0 can now download the update to United VMS 9.0.1 for free, other existing customers can contact FLIR support to get their system upgraded.
Technology has always stepped in to shorten distances between individuals. Whether through using electronic communications, such as email or video messaging, it has united people across different geographical locations and circumstances. Recent events have presented a unique challenge, where the ability to observe people and events in person has been restricted. This has had a knock-on effect on a variety of sectors, including healthcare, sports, and education. Broadcast cameras have offered a much-needed solution, by providing an objective method of viewing and recording events remotely. This article will outline the different ways that broadcast cameras can assist in doing this across a range of use cases. Teaching the teachers Remote learning has become a firm fixture of education systems due to current restrictions around social distancing. However, even before the pandemic, education authorities were looking for ways to improve how teachers are trained. Lesson observation has been a firm staple of the process, but the presence of an assessor in the classroom could affect behaviors, leading to a result that was non-representative. Solutions that can monitor classrooms remotely prove more effective, especially if they provide the option for playback. The University of Regensburg faced this challenge with lesson observation and chose a system using broadcast cameras to either livestream the images or record them for later viewing. As a result, observers could view the footage remotely in real-time and share insights directly with the teacher to help improve their training. Training in healthcare Broadcast cameras could be used to live stream doctor’s rounds to remote locations, without risking the patient or students In addition to teacher training, medical universities have had to adapt the way they deliver the curriculum to support remote learning for medical students. In the past, students would typically follow doctors on rounds to discuss patient conditions, treatment, and potential outcomes. This was an essential part of their education, as it demonstrated practical and real-life applications of the theory they were taught. However, this could not happen in the same capacity due to social distancing and hygiene restrictions. In this case, broadcast cameras could be used to live stream doctor’s rounds to remote locations, without increased risk to the patient or students. Remote patient monitoring Within the healthcare facility, patient monitoring is a critical part of providing high standards of care and treatment. Patient conditions can change quickly and monitoring enables medical professionals to intervene, potentially improving outcomes. In situations where personal protective equipment conservation and minimizing viral spread is a top priority, broadcast cameras can be used to remotely monitor patient vitals. Broadcast cameras from Axis offer extreme PTZ/resolution capabilities which are essential for patient monitoring situations. There is also an associated cost-benefit, as the investment needed for the hardware is minimal compared to other medical supplies or resources. Sports analysis software As proven by the two previous sector use cases, observation is a key part of assessing performance. For any sports discipline – whether it’s individual or group activities, improving performance relies on the ability to accurately analyze past games and training sessions. Using this information, decisions can be made to tweak and update the approach, informed by solid feedback. This was particularly true for track and field athletes, who constantly analyzed their movements to achieve results. Historically, they recorded their motion using handheld cameras, but this method came with limitations, such as filming angles, starting and stopping recordings, and changing memory cards. Working with Spiideo, an Axis partner providing sports analysis software, teams were able to use broadcast cameras mounted in the stadium to record training sessions and analyze them afterward on a mobile device. Security and entertainment in stadiums Cameras continuously monitor areas within the venue for intruders, mischievous, and illegal behavior Safety and comfort are key to enjoying sporting activities and security at stadiums is a high priority. In fact, it is a legal requirement for venues to have an effective solution in place and networked cameras play a critical role. These solutions must continuously monitor areas within the venue for intruders, mischievous, and illegal behavior, allowing security teams to quickly intervene if necessary. In Slovakia, all first league stadiums are required to operate a permanent specified camera system, which continuously monitors the individual visitor sections, stadium access gates, and entrances, and all the public areas inside the stadium. Spartak Myjava Stadium were looking for a solution that complied with legal regulations and secured the premises. In addition to providing high-quality video surveillance, the venue operators also discovered that they could use the footage to replay views of the game. Installed broadcast cameras Calling a foul can be one of the most controversial decisions, sometimes affecting the final score. Players and fans often argue with the referee’s decisions, but eyewitness accounts can be incorrect due to the speed or an event of position of the observer. An independent account of the incident helps to determine whether the referee’s decision was justified. This can be especially tricky for fast-paced games such as hockey. The Ontario Hockey League already used cameras to confirm goals and penalties but found that these lacked the resolution they needed. They installed broadcast cameras from Axis directed at the nets and another camera directed at the clock. This allowed officials to zoom in frame-by-frame on the video, improving their confidence in referees’ calls and enabled them to quickly make decisions regarding outcomes. Looking to the future The ability to broadcast, record, and replay events will continue to be important across a range of sectors. This is especially true for healthcare, education, and sports, as social distancing guidelines and hygiene concerns prevent close contact and the gathering of crowds. Technology will have an increasing role in virtually closing this distance and there is an opportunity for more use cases to emerge in other sectors, such as transportation and critical infrastructure. Broadcast cameras will prove to be a key part of this, due to the ability to produce high-resolution images in real-time, which will be a critical component to maintaining and enabling processes now and in the future.
Security personnel must be able to quickly detect unauthorized vehicles and individuals at critical infrastructure sites. Without intrusion detection, entities like electrical substations can be subject to physical attacks. 88 percent of substations experience at least one break-in every year and 10 percent see more than 20 intrusions in the same time frame, according to CIGRE, a global electricity industry organization. To safeguard remote substations from external threats, electric utilities are relying on durable thermal cameras for superior monitoring and protection. Remote substation security The failure of a key substation caused by a security breach would have a debilitating effect on homeowners, businesses, and mission-critical infrastructure. While physical security is a top priority for utilities, designing, installing, and operating a perimeter system requires skill. Remote location, limited network connectivity, minimal lighting, internal security audits, and compliance with North American Electric Reliability Corporation are some of the challenges that both substation security directors and system integrators face. Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS) Since its arrival on the mainstream security scene a few decades ago, thermal security cameras have quickly become the optimal solution for remote substation perimeter security, due to their ability to monitor perimeters day and night in adverse weather conditions as well as in harsh environments.Thermal cameras measure the minute differences in heat signatures emitted by objects and people to produce high-contrast images and reliable intrusion detection. They enable security personnel to detect an intruder before they ever reach the perimeter for early intervention. Sensor quality FLIR's perimeter cameras offer the widest selection of lenses and detection ranges, adaptable to both large and small deployments As the industry front-runner in advanced thermal technology, FLIR provides the best sensor quality available. FLIR’s total security solution featuring a diverse suite of perimeter cameras offers the widest selection of lenses and detection ranges, adaptable to both large and small deployments. FLIR’s track record of success is just one of the reasons why utilities choose FLIR cameras time and again. Design recommendations When deploying thermal cameras at substations, there are several factors to consider to optimise performance. Here are some tips from the FLIR experts.Identify What One Needs to Protect: Assess the substation’s unique needs, define one's threats, and determine which area one needs to monitor. For rural or small substations miles away from the nearest city, position one's cameras so one has a solid view of the outside perimeter. If anyone approaches, one wants to have ample warning. For substations in urban areas that are next to public lands and walkways, it may not be cost-effective to look out as pedestrians can easily generate nuisance alerts. In these scenarios, thermal cameras that survey the interior of the substation may be the better option. Make the Most of Existing Infrastructure: Thermal cameras must be mounted at a minimum of 12-15 feet above the ground. However, some substation fences are only 6-8 feet tall. In this case, consider mounting cameras on telephone poles or tower structures. Utilizing these existing structures instead of digging new trenches can save one both time and money. Select the Right Camera for your Application: For small substations that are less than an acre, deploying a couple of FLIR Elara™ FC-Series ID cameras, which feature onboard analytics, along the fence line will often do the trick. For short to mid-range needs, the FLIR Elara FB-Series is a great, economical option. Install a visible camera or a camera that provides both thermal and optical imagers, like FLIR Saros™ DH-390 Dome at the gate, to monitor general traffic. For larger substations (around two acres) that are high-value sites, consider deploying a mix of FLIR FC-Series ID cameras with the FLIR Saros™ DM-Series to cover the fence line. Additionally, mount a pan-tilt camera with both visible and thermal streams, such as the FLIR Elara™ DX-Series or FLIR Triton™ PT-Series, to look around the perimeter for superior monitoring and threat assessment. Choose the accurate software As a final consideration, choose the right software to streamline management, operations, and functionality. For large applications where customers need to manage surveillance, access control, radar, and other disparate systems on one platform, consider command and control software. For enterprise-level surveillance operations, a video management system is optimal and for small applications using just a few cameras, a network video recorder is sufficient. Regardless of the size of the project, partner with an expert team that can help assess, design, installs, and program the right system for one's application.
Stadiums around the world are still paralyzed from the effects of COVID-19. Fans and spectators in masses have been absent from stadiums since April and there doesn’t seem to be a concrete plan on how or when they’ll be able to return to near capacity. The NBA recently opted to form a bubble philosophy concept in Disney’s facilities, although it’s been a relative success, it’s also been a $200 million temporary solution. This then begs the question: How long can stadiums survive like this without spectator’s present? History tells us that stadiums, venues and sport recover from disasters, so what can stadiums do to speed up the process? This is the catalyst for AI to be integrated on mass level to stadiums around the world. AI is the answer AI’s role in getting fans and spectators back is huge, through capabilities such as: Social Distance Monitoring Crowd Scanning/Metrics Facial Recognition Fever Detection Track & Trace Providing Behavioural Analytics Technologies such as IREX.ai is now working alongside National Leagues, Franchises and Governing Bodies to implement AI surveillance software into their CCTV/surveillance cameras. This is now creating a more collaborative effort from the operations team in stadiums, rather than purely security. Stadiums around the world are still paralyzed from the effects of COVID-19 AI surveillance software such as IREX.ai when implemented into the surveillance cameras can be accessed by designated users on any device and on any browser platform. Crowd metrics Arming stadiums with AI-powered surveillance tools can detect crowd metrics such as “people counting” and “group statistics”. This ensures stadium personnel can monitor social distancing with precision, accuracy and immediately. Alerts can be set up throughout parts of the stadium to alert senior staff members when overcrowding can appear with real time videos, analytics and photos to their hand-held device, such as a smartphone. Fever detection Thermal cameras have been implemented throughout facilities including stadiums and are helping assist to spot people with elevated temperatures. What IREX.ai implements is an alert system, coupled with facial recognition of any individual(s) that read an elevated body temperature. This alert system then provides security and health officials with a photo of the individual with the elevated body temperature, meaning staff can react quicker to the situation prevent this individual from entry. Pandemic monitoring by facial recognition Thermal cameras have been implemented throughout facilities including stadiums and are helping assist to spot people with elevated temperatures Through facial recognition, staff members will be able to locate individuals through simply uploading a photo. It has never been easier to find a person of interest. With masks becoming an everyday part of society, facial recognition has come under scrutiny regarding the accuracy when a mask is worn. Irex.ai still maintains a 96% accuracy with individuals wearing masks and can set up alerts for any individuals not wearing a mask. Another important aspect of facial recognition is finding persons of interest quickly through technology like IREX.ai’s “searchveillance”. The future is here. Designated staff can track a person from when they enter the stadium by simply uploading their photograph. An example of how this can assist stadium personnel is to help relocate lost children inside the stadium with their guardians/parents when they are separated. Another attribute would be any individuals banned from entering the stadium would trigger alerts once they appear under surveillance, a fantastic collaborative tool to use with Law Enforcement. Return on investment With security solutions, one of the biggest issues with any security investment is a lack of an ROI. This is where AI security is breaking the mould. The ability to provide business analytics, consumer/fan behaviours, traffic patterns, etc, allows other departments within the organization to gain vital information that can assist with their strategies and practices. Stadium security will never be the same in a post-COVID world, so why will its practices stay the same? AI & Stadiums is no longer the future, it’s the 2020 solution.
Facial recognition has a long history dating back to the 1800s. To track down criminals, such as infamous bandits Jesse Woodson James and Billy the Kid, law enforcement would place “Wanted Alive or Dead” posters advertising bounties and soliciting public cooperation to help locate and even apprehend the alleged criminals. In addition to the bounty, these posters would include a photo and brief description of the crime, which would then be circulated to law enforcement agencies around the country and displayed in every US Post Office to speed up apprehension. Facial Recognition Today, technology such as social media, television and other more specialized communication networks play a more influential role in the recognition process. Advancements in artificial intelligence and biometric technology, including the development of Machine Learning capabilities, have led to increased accuracy, accessibility and the widespread use of computerized facial recognition. The significance of this means that facial recognition can occur on an even larger scale and in more challenging environments. Advancements in artificial intelligence and biometric technology have led to the widespread use of computerised facial recognition This article will explore key milestones and technological advances that have resulted in the modern incarnation of facial recognition, before discussing the capabilities of cutting-edge “one-to-many” technology which is increasingly being used by counter-terror defense, police and security forces around the world. Technology Inception And Developments The 1960s marked the start of computerized facial recognition, when Woodrow Wilson (Woody) Bledsoe developed a way to classify faces using gridlines. Bledsoe’s facial recognition still required a large amount of human involvement because a person had to extract the co-ordinates of the face’s features from a photograph and enter this information into a computer. The technology was able to match 40 faces an hour (each face took approximately 90 seconds to be matched) which was considered very impressive at the time. The technology was able to match 40 faces an hour, which was considered very impressive at the time By the end of the 1960s, facial recognition had seen further development at the Stanford Research Institute where the technology proved to outperform humans in terms of accuracy of recognition (humans are notoriously bad at recognizing people they don’t know). By the end of the century, the leading player in the field was a solution that came out of the University of Bochum in Germany – and the accuracy of this technology was such that it was even sold on to bank and airport customers. From this stage on, the facial recognition market began to blossom, with error rates of automatic facial recognition systems decreasing by a factor of 272 from 1993 to 2010 according to US Government-sponsored evaluations. The aim for facial technology is to achieve successful and accurate recognition on commonly available hardware like live CCTV feeds and standard computing hardware Modern Usage Of Facial Recognition Fast-forward to the modern day and facial recognition has become a familiar technology when using applications such as the iPhone X’s Face ID capability or MasterCard Identity Check, passport e-gates at airports and other security and access control points. These solutions implement a consensual form of identity verification, as the user has a vested interest in being identified. This is a “one-to-one” facial recognition event, one person in front of the camera being compared to one identity either on a passport or the app. In these scenarios, the hardware is specifically developed for the application at hand, therefore technically much easier to accomplish. Facial recognition can now be used in a variety of governmental and commercial environments The safety and security world brings a much more complex problem to solve – how to pick out a face in a moving and changing environment and compare it to several faces of interest. “One-to-many” facial recognition is a much harder problem to solve. It’s even more challenging when the aim is to achieve successful and accurate recognition on commonly available hardware like live CCTV feeds and standard computing hardware. And unlike in the 1960’s where identifying a face every 90 seconds was acceptable; the safety and security market requires near instant feedback on who a person matched against a watchlist is. Security And Safety Applications The idea behind all facial recognition technologies is broadly the same: you start with an image of a person’s face (ideally a high quality one, although machine learning means that to a point we can now even use video without reducing accuracy). A fully front facing image is best, think a passport photo, but machine learning and new software has made this more flexible. An algorithm converts this image into a numeric template, which cannot be converted back to an image and so represents a secure one way system. Every numeric template is different, even if it started out as an image of the same person, although templates from the same person are more similar than templates from different people. The accuracy of facial recognition continues to increase alongside deployments in more challenging and complex environments What happens next sounds simple although the technology is extremely complex: templates of people’s faces are taken in real time and compared to those in the database. The technology identifies individuals by matching the numeric template of their face with all the templates saved in a database in a matter of seconds or milliseconds. To put this into perspective, imagine you are at the turnstiles of a busy train station looking for a person on the run. Today’s facial recognition technology would be able to identify that person should they pass in view of a CCTV camera, as well as notify the police of any additional persons of interest, whether they are a known terrorist or missing vulnerable person on an entirely separate watch list. Because of technical progression, facial recognition can now be used in a variety of governmental and commercial environments, from identifying barred hooligans attempting entry at a football stadium or helping self-excluded gamblers at casino to overcome addiction. Real-Time Assessments The latest evolution of facial recognition pits the technology against an even more challenging application – directly matching individuals from body worn cameras for real time recognition for police officers on the beat. This capability equips first responders with the ability to detect a person from a photo and verify their identity with assurance. The broader implication for this means that every interaction, such as stop and search or arrest, can be supported by real-time facial recognition which will see cases of mistaken identity driven down on the streets. First responders can now for the first time be deployed and furnished with the ability to identify wider groups of people of interest with a degree of accuracy that previously relied only on the fallible human memory. As the accuracy of the technology continues to increase alongside deployments in more challenging and complex environments, its ability to support government initiatives and law enforcement means the debate about the lawful and appropriate use of facial recognition must be addressed. Facial recognition should not be everywhere looking for everyone, but when used properly it has the potential to improve public safety and we should make the most of its potential.
Live events at large venues like arenas, stadiums or convention halls – whether they involve wrestlers breaking chairs over each other’s heads, Axl and Slash letting bygones be bygones and reuniting Guns ‘n’ Roses, your favorite NFL team annihilating the opposition 62-3, or a convention involving anything from politics to food to Star Trek – are exciting affairs that channel the camaraderie of the crowd into a powerful collective energy. But they also are vulnerable to threats. Physical Security Solutions Terrorists and other malefactors have known for centuries that any large gathering of people has inherent vulnerabilities on which they can prey: Crowds make it hard for security to keep track of any single person or spot unusual behavior, and the number of people congregated in one space amplifies the impact of any attack. In recent years, organizers of large events have augmented the security methods they use to protect a venue, using both walk-through metal detectors and hand wands, and deploying K9 and police units to patrol the lines to enter security. But these current methods share a universal flaw: to be caught, evil-doers have to be on the verge of actually entering the venue with hundreds of other people, which means they can still cause a massive amount of destruction. In a survey conducted by Brivo, 50 percent of business security leaders felt they lack adequate budget and financial resources to invest in physical security solutions. Augmented Security Measures Organisers of large events have augmented the security methods they use to protect a venue, using both walk-through metal detectors and hand wands Security professionals and event organizers are constantly on the verge of finding new methods to implement in order to add an extra layer of security at venues and large facilities. For example, at this year’s Coachella Music Festival in Indio, California, which attracts over 100,000 attendees each year, organizers boosted their security initiatives by adding drones, armed guards, magnetometers and dog patrols. Unfortunately, large entertainment festivals have been a target for ill-intended individuals. Last year, the 91 Route Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada took the lives of more than 50 people and injured over 500. In the United Kingdom, 22 people lost their lives to a suicide bomber at an Arianna Grande concert in the Manchester Arena. Yet, concerts aren’t the only place new security initiatives and technology need to be implemented in, but also sports arena and large facilities. Metrasens partnered with Villa Park, the football grounds for Aston Villa Football Club in the UK, to conduct a trial using FMDS technology, Proscreen 900, to screen fans Current Screening Methods Conventional walk-through metal detectors are a compromise between effective screening and high throughput, as they successfully detect metal objects, but only can screen about five or six people each minute. They are generally placed 10 to 20 yards from a venue’s front façade, either just outside or just inside, to screen people as they enter the facility. Hand wands are used for anyone that sets off the walk-through detector as a secondary screening method for confirmation. Many facilities also use observational methods to screen, such as drones, surveillance cameras, security officers or police walking the crowd and looking for suspicious behavior, or explosives-sniffing K9 units patrolling the area. Security personnel are aware of these pre-security-screening vulnerabilities around the perimeter of the venue Security Method Limitations Each of these methods has intrinsic limitations. Observational security methods are just that – observation-based, not detection-based. They rely much more heavily on human factors that introduce greater degrees of error and chance, and positive visual identification of a suspicious threat requires a relatively close proximity to observe the threat. They’re also slow and laborious. Walk-through detectors and wands will catch someone trying to enter a facility with a weapon, but by the time they do, it may be too late – a terrorist will already be well within proximity to do a lot of damage. Bad guys don’t need to actually enter the venue; they just need to get close enough to injure or kill a large number of people. That can happen – and has happened, such as with Manchester Arena bombing in 2017 – right at the security point, where a terrorist will be surrounded by dozens or hundreds of people and 10 to 20 yards away from the critical asset: the interior of the venue. Security personnel are aware of these pre-security-screening vulnerabilities around the perimeter of the venue. What they haven’t had until recently is a way to screen mass amounts of people for weapons of mass casualty as far away from the critical asset as they can, and as far away from densely populated areas as they can, all while not impeding throughput resulting from the requirement for patrons to divest their possessions. Expanding Security Reach With FMDS The far perimeter of a venue is an ideal place to screen for weapons of mass casualty. Most of the time, a terrorist is trying to get closer to the immediate perimeter of the venue, to inflict the most damage to large groups of people waiting to get in; farther away, event attendees are walking toward the entrance and thus are more dispersed, not standing in clusters or lines. This advance screening is possible using ferromagnetic detection systems (FMDS). The FMDS systems in the trial, Proscreen 900, were placed outside, where individuals were screened for large weapons before they even entered the football stadium Metrasens recently partnered with a football stadium in Birmingham, UK to conduct a trial using FMDS technology to screen fans. The trial took place in March at Villa Park, the football grounds for Aston Villa Football Club. The stadium can hold over 42,000 people. The FMDS systems in the trial, Proscreen 900, were placed outside, where individuals were screened for large weapons before they even entered the football stadium, adding an extra layer of security. FMDS is highly accurate – there is no false alarm rate, because it is programmed to find only what security personnel need to find In the most basic terms, FMDS uses passive sensors that evaluate disturbances in the earth’s magnetic field made by something magnetic moving through its detection zone. Everything else is invisible to it; it doesn’t see people, clothing, backpacks, purses, etc. Nothing can be used to shield the threat, because FMDS doesn’t detect metallic mass; it detects a magnetic signature, down to a millionth of the earth’s magnetic field. It is also highly accurate – there is no false alarm rate, because it is programmed to find only what security personnel need to find (e.g., a weapon). Although it is a passive technology, it is more effective and reliable than using observational security methods to screen a perimeter, because the technology will never miss something the way a human would. Recognizing Moving Magnetic Signatures An important point is that the system only works on moving objects. This makes it immune to environmental conflicts such as rebar that would trip up conventional metal detectors and allowing people to be screened quickly and unobtrusively without stopping to divest their possessions as they walk toward a venue – up to 50 or 60 people a minute. FMDS does not need people to be organized into lines or groups; it simply detects a magnetic signature on anything that passes. It runs on batteries – there is no need for an electricity source, as with a walk-through detector – and can be placed on just about any form factor (a pole, a stand, etc.). This gives security personnel flexibility when deploying FMDS, allowing them to create a wide perimeter around a venue without worrying about portability or a power source. Screening can be as obvious or as concealed as personnel prefer for a particular situation, based on the form factor they select. FMDS simply gives the opportunity to add a layer of security where there currently is not an effective solution All of these combine into a solution that creates a way to close a gap in mass screenings at large events, by expanding the secure perimeter and creating a highly accurate way to detect weapons of mass casualty farther away from a critical asset and large crowds. It does not replace screening for smaller items necessarily, and all large venues should use a layered security solution that also deploys tactics like roving security guards, walk-through metal detectors and hand wands. FMDS simply gives the opportunity to add a layer of security where there currently is not an effective solution. Effective Mass Screening Solution Pessimists sometimes muse the world is getting more dangerous with each passing year, and that technology is at least partially responsible for both the breadth and depth of the increasingly creative ways bad guys harm people. But some technologies also are responsible for helping to fight against those threats and make the world safer, and FMDS is one of those. By providing a foolproof method of detecting weapons of mass casualty before terrorists get too close to an event venue, FMDS gives event security personnel a way to better protect large events, making them less dangerous and keeping people safe. Images source: Metrasens
Artificial intelligence (AI) is more than a buzzword. AI is increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives, and a vital tool in the physical security industry. In 2020, AI received more attention than ever, and expanded the ways it can contribute value to physical security systems. This article will revisit some of those development at year-end, including links back to the originally published content. In the security market today, AI is expanding the use cases, making technologies more powerful and saving money on manpower costs - and today represents just the beginning of what AI can do for the industry. What it will never do, however, is completely take the place of humans in operating security systems. There is a limit to how much we are willing to turn over to machines - even the smartest ones. Beyond video analytics "Apply AI to security and now you have an incredibly powerful tool that allows you to operate proactively rather than reactively," said Jody Ross of AMAG Technology, one of our Expert Roundtable Panelists. AI made its initial splash in the physical security market by transforming the effectiveness of video analytics AI made its initial splash in the physical security market by transforming the effectiveness of video analytics. However, now there are many other applications, too, as addressed by our Expert Panel Roundtable in another article. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning provide useful tools to make sense of massive amounts of Internet of Things (IoT) data. By helping to automate low-level decision-making, the technologies can make security operators more efficient. Biometrics with access control Intelligent capabilities can expand integration options such as increasing the use of biometrics with access control. AI can also help to monitor mechanics and processes. Intelligent systems can help end users understand building occupancy and traffic patterns and even to help enforce physical distancing. These are just a few of the possible uses of the technologies - in the end, the sky is the limit. AI is undoubtedly one of the bigger disrupters in the physical security industry, and adoption is growing at a rapid rate. And it’s not just about video analytics. Rather, it is data AI, which is completely untapped by the security industry. Bottom line: AI can change up your security game by automatically deciphering information to predict the future using a wide range of sources and data that have been collected, whether past, present, and future. That’s right. You can look into the future. Smarter perimeter protection Now, Intrusion Detection (Perimeter Protection) systems with cutting-edge, built-in AI algorithms to recognize a plethora of different object types, can distinguish objects of interest, thus significantly decreasing the false-positive intrusion rate. The more advanced AI-based systems enable the users to draw ROIs based on break-in points, areas of high-valuables, and any other preference to where alerts may be beneficial. AI Loitering Detection can be used to receive alerts on suspicious activity outside any given store Similarly, AI Loitering Detection can be used to receive alerts on suspicious activity outside any given store. The loitering time and region of interest are customizable in particular systems, which allows for a range of detection options. Smart security is advancing rapidly. As AI and 4K rise in adoption on smart video cameras, these higher video resolutions are driving the demand for more data to be stored on-camera. AI and smart video promise to extract greater insights from security video. Meeting urban needs Complex, extensive camera networks will already require a large amount of data storage, particularly if this is 24/7 monitoring from smart video-enabled devices. Newer edge computing will play an important role in capturing, collecting, and analyzing data. There are many more types of cameras being used today, such as body cameras, dashboard cameras, and new Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors. Video data is so rich nowadays, you can analyze it and deduce a lot of valuable information in real-time, instead of post-event. In smart cities applications, the challenge of identifying both physical and invisible threats to meet urban citizens’ needs will demand a security response that is proactive, adaptable and dynamic. Optimize security solutions As we look ahead to the future of public safety, it’s clear that new technologies, driven by artificial intelligence (AI), can dramatically improve the effectiveness of today’s physical security space. For smart cities, the use of innovative AI and machine learning technologies have already started to help optimize security solutions. In sports stadium applications, AI’s role in getting fans and spectators back after the COVID pandemic is huge, through capabilities such as social distance monitoring, crowd scanning/metrics, facial recognition, fever detection, track and trace and providing behavioral analytics. Technologies such as AI-powered collaboration platforms now work alongside National Leagues, Franchises and Governing Bodies to implement AI surveillance software into their CCTV/surveillance cameras. AI surveillance software In many ways, it’s the equivalent of a neighborhood watch program made far more intelligent through the use of AI This is now creating a more collaborative effort from the operations team in stadiums, rather than purely security. AI surveillance software, when implemented into the surveillance cameras can be accessed by designated users on any device and on any browser platform. One of the biggest advantages of using AI technology is that it’s possible to integrate this intelligent software into building smarter, safer communities and cities. Essentially, this means developing a layered system that connects multiple sensors for the detection of visible and invisible threats. Integrated systems mean that threats can be detected and tracked, with onsite and law enforcement notified faster, and possibly before an assault begins to take place. In many ways, it’s the equivalent of a neighborhood watch program made far more intelligent through the use of AI. Fighting illicit trade Using technology in this way means that thousands of people can be screened seamlessly and quickly, without invading their civil liberties or privacy. AI’s ability to detect visible or invisible threats or behavioral anomalies will prove enormously valuable to many sectors across our global economy. Revolutionary AI-driven technologies can help to fight illicit trade across markets. AI technologies in this specific application promise to help build safer and more secure communities in the future. AI can support the ongoing fight against illicit trade on a global scale in a tangible way. For financial transactions at risk of fraud and money laundering, for example, tracking has become an increasing headache if done manually. As a solution to this labor-intensive process, AI technology can be trained to follow all the compliance rules and process a large number of documents - often billions of pages of documents - in a short period of time.
A high majority of Americans (83%) are concerned about a criminal attack causing physical harm at large-scale events such as sporting events or concert festivals. More than one in five (22% of) Americans say they have canceled plans or considered cancelling plans to attend large-scale public events due to concerns about physical attacks and the safety of their data. Across the pond, three in 10 Britons think twice about attending large-scale events due to data or physical security issues. Although less than half of U.K. survey respondents have changed their plans to attend large events, some 45% are taking extra security precautions. Brits are as afraid of using public Wi-Fi at an event as of a physical criminal attack. These are some of the insights from the 2019 Unisys Security Index survey of more than 13,000 consumers in 13 countries, including 1,000 in the U.S. and another 1,000 in the United Kingdom. Currently, the U.K. index is at 147 (down from 149 in 2018), which is one of the lowest of the countries surveyed Security index scores of countries Unisys gauged attitudes on a range of security-related issues and created an index based on survey results. The index is a calculated score from zero to 300 based on concern about eight specific issues within the categories of national, financial, Internet and personal security. Currently, the U.K. index is at 147 (down from 149 in 2018), which is one of the lowest of the countries surveyed. In contrast, the U.S. index is now at 165, considered a serious level of concern and the highest among developed countries surveyed. Globally, the index average stands at 175, with the Philippines scoring highest with an index score of 234 and the Netherlands registering the lowest concern ratings with a score of 115. Concerns about misuse of information Privacy is an area where concern is growing. “This year more than half of U.K. citizens expressed concerns about the misuse of their personal information,” says Unisys’ Global Chief Security Architect, Salvatore Sinno. Another 49% expressed serious concerns that intelligence services listen in on them through electronic devices such as mobile phones or smart speakers. The summer calendar of major sporting events, concerts and festivals raises the levels of security concern The summer calendar of major sporting events, concerts and festivals raises the levels of security concern. Nick Aldworth, former National Counter Terrorism Co-Ordinator, tells the BBC that the government is not doing enough to ensure venues are secure. He supports a campaign for more rigorous checks at venues in the U.K., named Martyn’s Law, after Martyn Hett, a victim of the Manchester Arena attack in 2017. safety Pointers while attending event Salvatore Sinno of Unisys provides the following pointers on keeping safe this summer: If planning to attend a crowded event alone, let someone know. Make sure friends or family know where you are going, when you plan to arrive and when you are expected to return. Plan ahead and check local authorities’ alerts; sign up for any travel or news alerts to receive updates on traffic or news of any disturbances. As soon as you get to an event, survey your surroundings. Make sure you know where the exits are and agree on a meeting place with friends in case you should get separated from the group. Know where stewards and information points are so you can speak to someone if you need to. Be vigilant for suspicious activity at an event. Don’t be afraid to report something you think is unusual, such as unattended baggage or people behaving in a suspicious or threatening way. In an emergency, stay calm and move to the edges of crowds. Try to leave the area quickly and calmly. If you need to, follow the standard police advice of ‘Run, Hide and Tell’. Only buy event tickets from official channels or trusted websites. Update your mobile device with the latest, most secure software and avoid unsecured Wi-Fi networks; keep your phone charged and take along a battery charger pack. Don’t make electronic transactions at unofficial event vendors; be careful with contactless cards or making mobile transactions. “Whether it’s your physical security or the security of your data, you can take precautions around major events so you do not make it easy for criminals to take advantage,” says Sinno.
Krowd is an app that connects people together based on geography; that is, if they are at the same place at the same time. Users sign into the app using the local WiFi, identify themselves by username, and are placed immediately in a group chat comprising anyone else at the location who has signed into the app. An enhancement of the Krowd app, known as Krowdsafe, leverages the technology to achieve and promote security and safety. Specifically, Krowdsafe enables users to interact directly with security personnel at a public place to report any crimes or security infractions and to enable rapid response. Think of it as “crowdsourcing” security – the app provides more eyes and ears to keep a venue safer. In effect, it enables each of its users to be an extension of the security presence at a venue or event. Krowdsafe improves crowd resilience. “Crowdsourcing” security – the app provides more eyes and ears to keep a venue safer Krowdsafe security app Krowdsafe also opens a channel of communication for the security team to provide ad-hoc security information reminders or messages. Krowdsafe can be used at a variety of venues, including stadiums, transport hubs, office blocks, retail malls, college campus and major events organizers. The app does not access identities, violate privacy, or track the movements of users. Other app users only know the information fellow users disclose. Still, group chats, one-on-one engagement, and other social media interactions can ensue, whether about a favorite soccer team or the excitement of a rock concert. The system fosters digital engagement that centers around a physical space. Krowdsafe applies those capabilities to promoting better security. Enhancing crowd safety and management The elements of Krowdsafe beat out 67 competitors to win the Defense & Security Accelerator Competition to Innovate Crowd Safety, launched by the UK Home office after terror events in 2017. Key areas of interest in the competition were to improve the detection of threats from explosives and weapons within a range of crowded places with high footfall and so reduce the chance of future attacks. Krowdsafe provides a prioritized, readily accessible and simple way for members of a crowd to communicate with a security team charged with keeping them safe. The £250,000 government award has helped the product move forward commercially at a faster pace. Krowdsafe app does not access identities, violate privacy, or track the movements of users Krowdsafe users can tap a red button, prominent on the Krowd app, that says “Report.” They may then choose from a listing of common threat types – from suspicious activity or unattended activity to medical emergency or fire services. The list is configurable by venue and corresponds to any specific threat models. The list corresponds to the nature of any situation security wants to address, such as “anti-social behavior” at a soccer game. Users in the crowd can anonymously report racist chanting, for example. In a children’s sporting event, the app can be used to facilitate lost-and-found children. If a child gets lost, a user can share a photo with the security team, who can alert the “public” (other Krowdsafe users) and find the child within minutes or seconds. Encrypted identifier code A user taps the “Report” button, selects an issue, and an alert goes directly to the security team A user taps the “Report” button, selects an issue, and an alert goes directly to the security team, who can respond because they have the encrypted identifier code from which the message came. For that point, the security team communicates one-on-one with the user, who can then choose to share their current location with the security team to facilitate response. (The “legitimate interest” of knowing the location negates any privacy concerns.) Once location is enabled, the security team can follow the precise positioning of threats on a map, using GPS and other technologies, or even on a three-dimensional digital map of a multi-story building. Another security benefit of Krowdsafe is prevention. Event organizers and venue managers can promote the use of Krowdsafe on posters or in announcements throughout the venue. Additional eyes and ears are the equivalent of CCTV coverage on every inch of a venue and use of the system makes the environment more hostile to mischievous, malicious and/or terrorist activity. In effect, bad guys will go somewhere else. Enhancement to Krowd app Krowdsafe is an enhancement to the Krowd app, which has been around for a couple of years and is available in app stores for iOS and Android. The app approximates in the digital world the experience of being a stranger in the crowd in the real world. Users can join a conversation based on their username, and then disclose to the crowd whatever they wish (or not). Event managers/organizers can promote hashtags to help identify others in the crowd (such as #ManUnited to identify fans of the same soccer team). In general, users can identify themselves (voluntarily) according to common interests using hashtags. “Krowd is a group chat that connects people together at the same place at the same time in a group, but without anyone having to disclose personal information,” says Geoff Revill, Managing Director, Krowdthink Ltd. “You have a digital presence in the same place with other people at the same time.” Wireless connectivity Users connect initially into the system through WiFi, access to which serves to approximate presence at a venue Users connect initially into the system through WiFi, access to which serves to approximate presence at a venue. Once someone signs in, information about them is merely a grouping of “hash” numbers, which are used to identify them as they communicate with others in the location. However, the “hashing” cannot be hacked to find a user’s location, thus ensuring greater privacy. Because Krowd does not collect personal data (which is a revenue source for most social media companies), the company generates revenue by providing the service to venue owners who wish to interact with and manage a crowd. Data security Location data is considered sensitive under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and tracking locations can help to identify where someone lives, works, who they associate with, etc. By not tracking location, Krowd avoids the related privacy issues. After initially signing in on WiFi, Krowd communications can also use 2G, 3G and other cellular networks in addition to WiFi. Addressing privacy concerns is essential to encouraging involvement in the Krowd app, and in Krowdsafe. “If you want people to participate in keeping the crowd safe, you have to get their trust and respect them, that’s a building block behind the behavioral science,” says Revill. By not tracking location, Krowd avoids the related privacy issues Privacy protection Because Krowd users remain anonymous (except for the information they choose to share), user data is not collected (and/or sold or used for future marketing purposes). Krowd’s paying customers are event venues and public places that provide the Krowd service and can promote their commercial messages or provide other information to their populations while on site. Krowdsafe can provide immediate security benefits to a venue. Even if only 25 staff members use the app in a given location, for example, that’s 25 more sets of eyes and ears to help the security department. In a retail mall, if the staffs of 200 tenant businesses use the app, that’s another 500 or so people watching out for security. Among the general public, use of the app can be promoted in customer newsletters, or by posting group discussions on big screens around a venue. Wide marketing scope It enables members of a crowd to report any broken doors, water leaks or blocked toilets Security is a secondary benefit for some Krowd users, who are drawn to the app because of marketing opportunities, such as the ability to provide discounts or promotional offers to customers while they are on site. The app also encourages social media interaction, while maintaining the venue’s ability to “manage” the crowd by moderating any discussions. The Krowd app also provides management benefits to a venue. For example, it enables members of a crowd to report any broken doors, water leaks or blocked toilets. In general, the app helps to promote a better brand experience for the customer. Incident management One of the UK government’s concerns about Krowdsafe was its possible use by terrorists or other to cause incidents in a public venue. Think of the case of Olly Murs, a U.K. singer, whose mistaken tweets about hearing gunshots caused a brief panic at a department store on a busy shopping day. Might Krowd be uses similarly by a terrorist or other evil-doer to cause chaos or a distraction? No, says Revill, who points to a higher level of control over content exchanged in Krowd versus Twitter, for example. The security team can censor content or limit its propagation. They can also disable or block a user from communicating on the app. Messages containing dangerous or troubling content, such as racist terms, can trigger alerts to enable security teams to respond quickly.
The Goffert Stadium, home to the N.E.C. soccer club in Nijmegen, Netherlands, was in dire need of an upgrade as its legacy security system had fallen into disrepair and was no longer fit for purpose. To tackle the issue, the soccer club worked with VideoGuard to deploy a Genetec system that could modernize security operations and support a phased evolution of infrastructure. The security challenge of the stadium The Goffert stadium’s original analog security system had been installed during a major renovation in 2000. It had initially served the security team well but over the years it had failed to evolve in line with the new requirements of the organizations. Upgrading its capabilities were complex and costly, while almost half of the CCTV cameras had become inoperable. Theo van Benthum, Goffert Stadium Manager, explains the issue in more depth, “The images from the old cameras could no longer be used as legal evidence. And that’s important if one really wants to be able to tackle hooligans. In addition, there is also an economic reason to have good CCTV surveillance.” “The mayor of Nijmegen demands from us that we have a good security organization and camera surveillance is an integral part of that. In matches with an increased risk of disturbances, the police come to us to watch and if they think that the camera footage cannot be used, this could have consequences for us. For example, we have to allow fewer visitors, or certain competitions may no longer take place. The KNVB (Royal Dutch Football Association) can also come with sanctions if we are imposed by the municipality.” Flexible systems with lowering costs Replacing the entire system became the only option. However, committing the budget required to fund all of the necessary upgrades in one go would be difficult. Van Benthum was also keen to ensure that whatever system was adopted had the flexibility to evolve in line with future needs. Richard Nass, the Owner and Managing Director of VideoGuard stepped in to assist the club, proposing a complete refit based around Genetec Security Center. As an open platform that supports a wide range of cameras, this provided a path for the club to take a phased approach to refresh its hardware. Helping to lower up-front costs without limiting options for future upgrades. Deployment of Genetec Project began by replacing the dilapidated analogue cameras with state-of-the-art Type 5000i Bosch AutodomesTheo van Benthum acknowledges that a project of this scale simply wouldn’t have been feasible without the input of VideoGuard and Genetec. “It wasn’t just about replacing the 24 cameras. The existing network could also no longer be used. Everything was outdated and weathered. I knew Richard Nass from the past and knew he was in the camera business, so I thought I’d give him a call. This is how the idea arose to turn our stadium into a showroom. He came up with a proposal that we could handle just fine. Now, but also in the future.” In 2018, the project began by replacing the dilapidated analog cameras with state-of-the-art Type 5000i Bosch Autodomes, which significantly improved the quality and accuracy of footage. The cameras were then connected via a new network with two Genetec Streamvault-SV-2000 servers and run on Genetec Security Center. Surveillance camera coverage was also considerably expanded in other areas, such as the fan entrances and car park, to ensure better visibility across the stadium in high footfall areas. Easy camera accessibility The interior cameras were previously run on a separate system, but now, using Genetec Security Center, staff can access every camera on-premises via a single platform, providing a more holistic view into security operations. Furthermore, Security Center also enables personnel to monitor surveillance via their phone or tablets, enabling a greater degree of flexibility, as the security personnel is no longer required to be constantly posted at a monitoring station. Speaking about the refit, Frank Scholten, Product Manager and Engineer at VideoGuard, said, “What has improved enormously with Genetec is the ease of use. For example, it is very easy to select cameras based on a map. In addition, the system can be expanded quickly and easily if necessary.” The new security system proved its worth when hooligans associated with ADO Den Haag attempted to burn down the N.E.C. training center. The new state-of-the-art cameras were able to clearly capture the scene, serving as vital evidence for the police, leading to the successful arrests of both of the suspects. Plans As Security Center is an open platform, it means the club isn’t restricted to specific hardware and can integrate whichever tools suit their needs best. Speaking about plans for the future, Frank Scholten said, “It may sound strange, but we actually think it’s a bit of a pity that the Goffert Stadium is so satisfied with our system. We do intend to use more and more opportunities in the future. For us, but of course also to be able to show other stadiums what is possible.”
Traffic management takes many forms. Traffic management can involve closing a roadway during a major city event such as a motion picture awards show or traffic management can simply entail a traffic arm that raises and lowers after a fee has been paid in a parking garage. Traffic management can include directing traffic in one direction during peak hours or closing a facility to vehicle traffic after hours. It can also prevent wrong-way entry or ensuring vehicles cannot encroach on pedestrian areas. Barriers for security In most cases, it is quite easy to breach the entrance to the parking lot. Once entered, the vehicle can pick up speed to crash through one of the gates or entrances to get within the stadium itself. To provide increased security, Delta Scientific DSC501 barriers are used at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta at main entrances where players and VIPs, among others, enter with their cars. K54 certification The DSC501 protects against a “second hit” risk from a second vehicle The DSC501 is the only K54-certified retractable vehicle barricade in the world. Set in a foundation only 18 inches deep, it will survive and operate after a 5.4-million foot-pound impact. That’s equivalent to a 65,000-pound truck hitting it at 50 mph. Stopping the truck or car dead in its tracks, the DSC501 protects against a “second hit” risk from a second vehicle. Deployable vehicle crash barriers In another example, on May 22, 2020, an armed assailant attempted to drive through entryway gates at the Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi. The suspect was stopped almost instantaneously. A wounded sailor, a security team member, managed to raise a barricade despite her injuries. The shooter, the would-be trespasser, died in the incident, which could have been made much worse had the station not taken appropriate measures to keep intruders at bay. At this location, the totally self-contained Delta Scientific MP5000 mobile deployable vehicle crash barriers guarding that base carries an ASTM rating as high as M50, able to stop and disable a 15,000 lb (66.7 kN) G.V.W. vehicle moving at 50 mph (80.4 kph). The barricade tows into position to control vehicle access within 15 minutes. No excavation or sub-surface preparation is required. Once positioned, the mobile barricades unpack themselves by using hydraulics to raise and lower the barriers off their wheels. DC-powered pumps will then raise or lower the barriers. To remove, procedures are reversed and the barriers are towed away. Traffic control devices With so many traffic management scenarios, it is no wonder that Delta Scientific manufacturer’s more than fifty types of barriers and traffic control devices. Delta can assist any facility in controlling the flow of traffic through devices such as traffic arms, lights, spike teeth or even crash tested vehicle barricades.
Johan Cruijff ArenA will utilize innovative video analytics to improve visitor flow, optimize parking utilization and offer fans an anonymous way to provide feedback about the stadium experience, among other uses. The Security & Safety Things IoT platform for smart cameras will integrate into the ArenA’s operational software to provide key insights into stadium operations and ongoing health and safety measures, especially useful since the pandemic. The partnership will provide a potential model for other organizations looking to deploy technology solutions to safely reopen. IoT platform for smart cameras Security and Safety Things GmbH and the Johan Cruijff ArenA are partnering up and will deploy S&STs IoT platform for smart surveillance cameras to enhance overall fan experience, optimize ArenA operations and increase visitor security and privacy. The ArenA is home to AFC Ajax and the internationally renowned Amsterdam Innovation ArenA (AIA), a living lab established by the ArenA and the City of Amsterdam to enable development and testing of innovative stadium and smart city solutions. Security & Safety Things IoT platform S&ST IoT platform and network of cameras is integrated into the ArenA’s dashboard software The Security & Safety Things (S&ST) IoT platform and network of cameras is integrated into the ArenA’s dashboard software to provide information and analysis for safety and security as well optimization of stadium operations and visitor engagement. “Every technology selected for our innovation environment is strategic because of the potential benefits not only to our ArenA, but to the City of Amsterdam and other stadiums and large event venues seeking technological solutions to help to re-open safely and operate their facility more intelligently,” said Sander van Stiphout, Director International, Johan Cruijff ArenA. Sander van Stiphout adds, “The unique flexibility of the Security & Safety Things approach enables us to simultaneously deploy COVID-19 health and safety analytics along with business optimization tools and easily re-equip the cameras with other analytic applications as our needs change.” AI-enabled video analytic applications A series of smart cameras on the S&ST IoT platform are installed in key areas throughout the stadium. Using specialized, Artificial Intelligence-enabled video analytic applications from the S&ST Application Store that run directly on each camera, each device will provide the ArenA with valuable operational insights. When the stadium reopens, crowd detection analytics will monitor social distancing compliance and visitor flow around entrances and food or merchandise kiosks. License plate recognition cameras will assist with real-time occupancy monitoring for parking and traffic flow optimization. Queue detection applications Queue detection applications can be employed to reduce visitor wait times by directing fans to less busy areas and by providing the insights required to optimize staffing levels at peak times. In one specific area, a camera also provides the ability for visitors to provide feedback about their stadium experience in an anonymous and contact-free way by detecting the visual of a ‘thumbs-up’ or ‘thumbs-down’ from a visitor, collecting only the rating without disrupting people flow. Smart camera platform We’re honored to be joining the Johan Cruijff ArenA as an innovation partner" “The flexibility of our smart camera platform and the ArenA’s mission of innovation are very well matched to produce the intelligence necessary to address real world issues of privacy, health and safety but also new and creative ideas for stadium and event management,” said Hartmut Schaper, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Security & Safety Things GmbH. Hartmut adds, “We’re honored to be joining the Johan Cruijff ArenA as an innovation partner and to help them provide a seamless and safe visitor experience.” Smart surveillance camera system The camera system and how it is used complies with all European and Dutch privacy regulations. Furthermore, there are various advantages to this camera system, when it comes to privacy. These cameras are equipped with powerful processors that analyze the images directly on the camera, reducing the need for a constant video stream to be passed on to a central location, where it can be monitored or further processed. Instead, the cameras can be configured to send only the information about relevant events such as when a long queue is forming, groups of people gather too closely, or individuals are not wearing face coverings as required. Only then will respective images be passed along. This reduces the processing of visitors’ personal information to an absolute minimum as opposed to a traditional set-up where all footage is transmitted and centrally processed at all times.
Since its completion in 2017, the Gazprom Arena has served as the home ground stadium for the Russian football club Zenit St. Petersburg. And as one of the host stadiums for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2021 Euro Football Championship, the Gazprom Arena must also satisfy the strict security regulations of FIFA, UEFA and ESSMA. When selecting the video security system, the managers responsible at Zenit therefore opted for a solution from the German manufacturer Dallmeier. With its patented Panomera multifocal-sensor system, Dallmeier guarantees the security of many stadiums all over the world. The objective was providing coverage with video security technology for the entire area surrounding the stadium, the entrance gate approaches, the rooms below grand stands, and the grand stands themselves in one of the largest video security projects ever undertaken in a football stadium. Video security system Under enormous time pressure, a high-performance system had to be implemented in the stadium with a capacity of 60,000 fans and yet had to remain adaptable and flexible in response to changing customer wishes as the project progressed. One requirement which from time to time presented the greatest challenge was capturing all areas of all the grand stands all of the time, so that unequivocal identification of offenders could be assured in all circumstances. In order to achieve this, the Russian Interior Ministry stipulated two key requirements for the video security system: Firstly, it must capture the entire grand stand area with a "minimum resolution density" of 250 pixels per meter (px/m). This also corresponds to the performance criterion defined in the globally valid standard DIN EN 62676-4 for video security systems for purposes of enabling identification of an unknown person. Minimum resolution density A Dallmeier video security system has already been operating in the Petrovsky Stadium since 2012 And secondly, the image frequency must not fall below a frame rate of 25 frames per second (fps). Because it is typically only the combination of the specified minimum resolution density and a fluid representation of events that can ensure incontestable evidence that is usable in a court of law. In order to meet these stringent requirements, the security managers invited a number of vendors to present their solutions in advance at Zenit's former home ground - the Petrovsky Stadium - to enable them to choose the right solution for the Gazprom Arena. A Dallmeier video security system has already been operating in the Petrovsky Stadium since 2012, and after a thorough evaluation of all the solutions, the operators decided to install a stadium solution from Dallmeier in the Gazprom Arena as well. Multifocal-sensor system Because compared with conventional camera technologies such as megapixel or PTZ cameras for example, the patented Panomera multifocal-sensor system from Dallmeier can guarantee coverage of even the largest expanses with the stipulated minimum resolution density and frame rate. And Panomera systems continuously capture everything that is happening in full resolution and allow high-resolution zooms - both live and in the recording and by several operators at the same time. This enables stadium operators to track and reconstruct relevant occurrences in detail both live and after the fact. Besides the technical superiority of the Panomera technology, another decisive advantage of the Dallmeier stadium solution was the innovative 3D planning approach, with which a digital reproduction of the Gazprom Arena was created. Conventional single-sensor cameras This makes it very easy to fulfill the requirement according to which at least 250 px/m must be assured literally "in every last corner": color coding in the 3D simulation makes it possible to see exactly where the value has been reached and where a correction should be made, perhaps by setting up in a another position or using a different camera model. An alternative solution would have required a substantial four-figure number of conventional single-sensor cameras A further major advantage of this planning approach is the extreme efficiency of the solution: For example, Zenit St. Petersburg is able to provide security on the terraces throughout the Gazprom Arena with way less than 100 Panomera camera systems, covering all areas with at least 250 px/m and 25 fps. An alternative solution would have required a substantial four-figure number of conventional single-sensor cameras. Minimizes uncertainty factors Apart from enormously high infrastructure costs (masts, cables, etc.) this would also have generated a practically unmanageable deluge of images for the video system operators. Another benefit of Dallmeier's 3D planning program is the automatic generation of "CamCards" - exact configuration documents for every single camera. Armed with this information, installers on site know exactly which camera must be mounted where, how high and at what angle. The big advantage besides the immense amount of time saved consists in the planning reliability: It can be predicted with great accuracy how much labor the installation of the total solution with entail, because this approach minimizes uncertainty factors. Total storage capacity Thanks to Dallmeier's unwavering assistance throughout the project, testing by the state technical personnel in Russia was also successful in the subsequent project phases, with the result that the stadium operators were able to begin operating the video security system after final project commissioning in good time for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The total storage capacity for the video security system amounts to more than six petabytes Recently, over 1,000 single-sensor cameras have been installed in the Gazprom Arena in addition to the Panomera systems - these safeguard the remaining areas of the stadium. Due to the large number of cameras, the total storage capacity for the video security system amounts to more than six petabytes (equivalent to about 6,000 TB). High-performance recording appliances from Dallmeier are used to process this information. Largest stadium project Authorized personnel from various departments and stakeholders can access the system at 80 workstations. The video security system from Dallmeier has provided ample evidence of its performance capabilities and reliability in the running of the Gazprom Arena, not least during the seven matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. On this subject, Karlheinz Biersack, Director Sales Eastern Europe/RUS/GUS at Dallmeier explains: "Of course we were delighted that the security managers of Zenit St. Petersburg also decided to rely on Dallmeier again for their new home, the Gazprom Arena. This success in the largest stadium project we have ever undertaken shows once again that Dallmeier's holistic security and solution approach - above all the patented Panomera technology and our unrivalled project and consulting services represent an immense benefit for our customers."
BBVA Compass Stadium is a soccer-specific stadium located in Houston, Texas, USA and home to the Houston Dynamo, Major League Soccer club (part of MLS in USA). It also is home to the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League and to Texas Southern University Tiger football. It is also going through a major retrofit with its security systems to include a best of breed, open architecture solution. The stadium first opened in 2012, but six years later, Cultris Security Systems of Houston is back upgrading and expanding the current security installation. After spending five years with another security provider, the Dynamo and Dash, who maintains the facility, opted for a completely new solution. Axis cameras integrated with Salient Systems VMS Along with their current Panasonic cameras, stadium officials opted for Axis Communications cameras Along with their current Panasonic cameras, stadium officials opted for Axis Communications cameras. Both camera manufacturers play well with Salient Systems VMS. The result was an image resolution much more enhanced than they had been experiencing. “With all of this equipment brought together, we found it to be easy to use, user-friendly, and supported a very complimentary search function,” said Paul Fisher, Director of Key Accounts at Salient Systems, adding “For those people hired as facility guards, and with a sometime frequent turnover in staff, new people were able to use the Salient software right away and were able to do their job guarding the facility more quickly.” Paul further stated, “An installation like this is a great reference for us, and it is a very exciting security installation. Although there are fewer than 100 cameras, the placement and location of the cameras will allow security to monitor the sometimes over-zealous fans, and with BBVA Compass Stadium officials installing our synopsis video tool, stadium officials will be able to key-map the entire facility, gain analytical data and improve the customer experience.” CompleteView VMS platform Salient also partners with Dell, taking its CompleteView VMS platform into the booming Internet of Things market. The CompleteView VMS’ ability to quickly render and manage video surveillance over a WAN or LAN makes it a compelling offering for solution providers looking to gain a foothold in IoT. The manner through which the video is processed is very efficient, and can render the video and perform forensics on the video rapidly. As more businesses look to video surveillance as an IoT application, the CompleteView VMS platform can be integrated with other software packages will enable partners to work with customers to solve specific problems through big data and analytics capabilities. DSX software installed for secure access control BBVA Compass Stadium officials also switched out the outdated access control software and installed DSX software to complete the upgrade. “We have long known that DSX is a workhorse software solution,” said Jason Smith, President of Cultris Security Systems Inc., adding “It is easy to use and a lower cost to use. These upgrades are exciting for us to be part of because the installation will come in several phases, with the integration supported for years to come.” Open architecture security solutions Cultris technicians almost had a blank canvas to begin their security installation Jason adds, “We also found working with BBVA Compass Stadium staff very easy because they were receptive to open architecture security solutions. Phase Two will begin in 2019, and we’re excited to design the next layer of security at the stadium.” Cultris technicians almost had a blank canvas to begin their security installation. The facility itself is an open architecture facility, so facility managers were very receptive when plans were drawn up for security equipment. Much of the focus was on the stadium concourses, where the bulk of the soccer fans’ traffic is found during a match. 360-degree cameras installed The new master plan now included 360-degree cameras along the concourse, which offered coverage in every direction. The same 360-degree cameras were also placed near the locker rooms, loading docks and service areas. PTZ and fixed lens cameras were upgraded and placed in each corner of the facility where there is a gate for entrance and exit. As imagined, soccer fans are very passionate about their sport and teams, so cameras on the concourse were placed in a planned manner for the guarding staff to be able to know and react quickly if or when a fight broke out among spectators. The 360-degree cameras also enable the security staff to mobilize and reach the incident spot, where they would be required, as quickly as possible. 4K PTZ cameras Stadium security staff is able to view cameras placed in an adjacent parking area Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium has a capacity of 22,039 seats, including 34 private suites, 1,100 club seats, an indoor premium club area, a dedicated supporters/fans stand and a food court. The stadium is designed to accommodate Major League Soccer (MLS) and FIFA standard international soccer, as well as other sports including football, lacrosse, and rugby and live concerts. Stadium security staff is able to view cameras placed in an adjacent parking area, as well as city security cameras (live view only) in order to ensure the safety and security of people coming to the venue and leaving after the match. These cameras have a 4K PTZ quick drive function, which helps establish a clear view of events, if additional security help is needed. As an integrator, Cultris Security has clearly installed a solution that will work properly for BBVA Compass Stadium, and their tenants, who are always looking to strike a goal.
Synectics has secured a competitive public space contract to provide integrated surveillance solutions for a number of prestigious sites across London, the UK's capital. Comprising government properties, heritage sites, and high-profile public event venues, the contract builds on Synectics' reputation as the surveillance solution of choice for London's public space protection. The successful award can also be attributed to the company's ability to deliver tailored, open-architecture solutions incorporating integration to third-party systems such as access control and intruder detection. Control software platform Synectics, which supports more than 70% of London's boroughs, as well as major retail stores and stadiums across the city, will upgrade all sites to its Synergy 3 command and control software platform. Each of these sites falls under our specialism in public space" While the specific locations cannot be named, the sites include listed buildings, high-security 'closed-to-public' assets, and venues with high levels of public footfall. Martin Bonfield, UK Sales Manager, at Synectics commented: "Each of these sites falls under our specializm in public space, but individually they each have unique requirements. That plays to our strengths in terms of the flexible technologies we offer and the broader sector experience we hold, from gaming and critical national infrastructure to city surveillance, retail, and public transport.” Superior incident management "These credentials illustrate our capability at developing and deploying surveillance solutions for projects that must balance high levels of public access with stringent security conventions and superior incident management. Our professional services team is also highly skilled at migrating systems under live operating conditions, which was a specification of the comprehensive brief." "One of the locations included in this tender process was an existing Synectics site operating a legacy Synergy product. The trust in our Synergy solution by the customer meant that satisfaction with the system reliability and user experience was high." Multi-Site monitoring The Synergy 3 solution deployed at each site will enable the control room teams to monitor existing cameras The Synergy 3 solution deployed at each site will enable the control room teams to monitor existing cameras — totaling around 500 across the sites — alongside integrated third-party systems such as access control and intruder detection. Linking all locations for eventual multi-site monitoring was a crucial component of the project brief, ensuring the sites continue to support future needs and incorporate the latest camera technology and system features as required. Martin explained: "Synergy 3's power and scalability in terms of integrations and future system consolidation presented a powerful proposition to our customers, combined with our wider London portfolio of projects, partnerships, and supporting closer collaboration with the Metropolitan Police."
Round table discussion
We are several weeks into 2021, and it is already shaping up to be an eventful year. The happenings and trends from 2020 will likely carry over into the new year, but in a fast-moving industry such as ours, there will also be additional trends to watch. Looking toward the year ahead, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What will be the biggest security trends in 2021?
When security topics become a part of current events, it is usually in a negative light. Security generally only becomes news when it fails, sometimes in a dramatic, high profile and tragic way. However, security failures can also shed light on lessons learned and opportunities to improve. Working toward better security can translate into the purchase of more goods and equipment supplied by our market. For additional insights into the intersection of security and current events, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Good news or bad news? How do news reports and/or current events influence the general public’s opinion of physical security?
The new year 2019 is brimming with possibilities for the physical security industry, but will those possibilities prove to be good news or bad news for our market? Inevitably, it will be a combination of good and bad, but how much good and how bad? We wanted to check the temperature of the industry as it relates to expectations for the new year, so we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How optimistic is your outlook for the physical security industry in 2019? Why?
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